January 19, 2010

Blog Hate

I think I’ve been reading too many blogs lately.

A number of blogs are posting lists of things not to write about. Some of these lists are created out of frustration ~ slush readers seeing too much of the same thing. I understand this. These are good people who have to do something that is unnatural, something that can make a person feel bad. They have to tell another person that their offering ~ their heart on a stick ~ isn’t good enough. This begets pain, which begets anger, which begets humorous lists. I do understand the impulse behind this.

But other lists are just plain snarky. They stem from the same place ~ the pain of rejection. However, they can get downright mean. They basically say, everybody out there, you suck. They say, these rules are written in stone, you can’t write about, say, middle-age angst. But we all know that a) there are lots of people out there doing it very well and b) you have to write about what you have to write about ~ at least if you want to a) remain sane and b) write with your pen on fire.

What I don’t like about these lists is that they stem from the same place snarky criticism stems from. Yes, I know they’re supposed to be funny. But they’re also mean. It disregards others’ feelings in order to vent your own pain and frustration. It disregards the number one rule of writing, which is empathy.

Furthermore, this attitude is detrimental to creativity. Creating something takes a sense of play, of joy, of enthusiasm. Yes, and a sense of childlike naivete. It’s hard to be world-weary and creative at the same time.

So please, for the sake of your art, use your anger and frustration as drive to build up your art, not tear down other peoples’.

What I’m Reading Today: I finished my friend Pembroke’s kick-ass zombie manuscript! Also more European Anthology.

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